Tag Archives: environment

A look at vegetable-rich Batinah region

We kept coming back for the motorcycle and camel rides in Batinah from time to time not minding too much on the long stretches of green fields along the way. This time we did not miss the chance to visit them. Our kind and unassuming Omani host offered the entourage a refreshing visit in  his vegetable and goat farm. We  found out vegetables and fruits are planted and [harvested] in great quantities in this part of Oman so that makes them not really dependent on vegetables from major exporters. Oil-rich Oman seems intent on becoming vegetable-rich as well, though it pales in comparison to figures achieved by vegetable-growing countries in Asia or North America. I later discovered that a considerable chunk of food crops in Oman is cultivated on the coastal region of Batinah plain, which extends north-westwards from the north of Muscat region to the rim of the United Arab Emirates.To name some, they are tomatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, bananas, sweet potatoes, sweet corn and an assortment of select fruits, like dates which have greatly increased over the last few years.

This blog under the category of plants and wildlife documents 4   vegetable plantations that we have visited namely okra, stringbeans, eggplant and cabbage. These products find its way to almost all the supermarkets and retailers in Oman.

311128_4938060577691_1462891797_n-001 - Copy

Okra comes packed with glutathione, a protein molecule that is naturally produced in the body and  is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body guard against the harmful effects of germs and bacteria that cause cancers and other diseases. It helps to improve liver, heart and lung functions and boost the immune system.

Okra farms and other farms planted to vegetables are a common sight in the Batinah coast of Oman.
Okra eaters
Okra eaters,according to history.

Okra has made a name in ancient times, with its beginnings in Egypt where it is cultivated before the time of Queen Cleopatra. Then it became popular  to many parts of the world during the Atlantic slave trade.  The shortage of coffee beans in WWII gave rise to okra seed’s prominence as a very good substitute.  This incident made the word “okra fever”. Since then, okra’s popularity never disappeared from local markets to convenience stores throughout the world and throughout the year.

The world’s most beautiful women in ancient times, Cleopatra of Egypt and Yang Guifei of China loved to eat okra according to historical accounts.The world’s most productive land of okra in a rural area in Kami, Kochi Prefecture , Japan, is known popularly for how the young and old all look very healthy. When asked about their secret in having good health in that area, they graciously answer “okra”.

154282_10151223816678470_1924747634_n - Cop

Okra is also reported to be beneficial to those suffering from diabetes as it helps to stabilize the blood sugar. Some people who claimed to have their diabetes cured or their condition greatly improved with the daily consumption of water that has been soaked with okra.

306565_10151223817613470_473582678_n - Copy

The other side of weeds.

So you think you know what a weed is? Did you ever think “why” you have weeds?  Did you ever think about positive values and functions that weeds might provide? There are many wildlife uses for weeds, including hosting more insects than you see or can imagine.Many wild mammals feed on weeds.  There are more good insects than bad in gardens, many being predators of the bad, or serving as food for birds.  Small parasitic insects, also serving as biological controls for bad ones, feed on the nectar of many weed flowers.   Some weeds host the larvae of butterflies, such as the monarch larvae on milkweeds.  We all have seen bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies feeding on flower nectar of many weeds.  Especially important to these are the late season wildflowers, when not much else is in flower, such as goldenrod and aster.

604147_4938091418462_1224083196_n - Copy
The Omani farm owner showed his  unrelenting appetite for a memorable pose with us.

Farmworkers in almost all the veggie fields are tended to by Bangali laborers like this stringbean fields we visited. Green beans (string beans) have been, in recent studies shown to have impressive antioxidant capacity.Research comparing the overall antioxidant capacity of green beans to other foods in the pea and bean families has found green beans to come out on top.For one, it’s also a valuable source of silicon for bone health and healthy formation of connective tissues in the body.


Cabbage contains enormous anti-ageing compounds like beta carotene and Vitamin C. These compounds repair the damaged cells of the skin and give healthy and shiny skin protecting against the ageing of the skin.



Although iron is essential for many biological process in the body, excess accumulation of it is not beneficial and causes certain harmful effects in the body. Increased accumulation of iron causes rise in the production of free radicals in the body and is associated with high risk of heart disease and cancer.Therefore,studies have taught us that it is necessary to remove the excess iron to reduce the free radical production which can be done by nasunin, a phytonutrient present in eggplant.


Prior to the discovery of oil in the 1960s, the agricultural sector was vital in the Omani economy.  The principal agricultural area is found along the Batinah coast, in the northeast between Muscat and Diba al-Hisn. Oman is famed for producing very high quality agricultural goods and the highest quality products are usually exported to the neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.To this day, agriculture remains to be one of Oman’s main non-oil exports.


A place to relax.It’s more than what we wished for.

PicMonkey Collage.alnadah

Escape becomes the order of the day: Resorts provide all the relaxation you need.

The hustle and bustle correlated to city living is one that you expect when moving from your quiet hometown.The stimulation of crowds and horrible traffic generate energy that challenges the human spirit.  It is a generally accepted notion that  the city dweller reflects the image of a moody, stressed and unfriendly person.   And you are no longer the countryman that  is  depicted   as calm, relaxed and friendly because you have moved to a city where you may have been lured by a lucrative job offer from a leading company.Take the time off! Experience something relaxing.That’s what we did by going into a spa resort in a town in Oman called Barka.A good 30-min ride from Muscat will take you to this forest look resort with a string of cottages lining up the edges of this countryside spa resort within a country that has a typical hot arabian desert temperature.The package of course included a massage to all guests from a well trained staff that gave us a truly soothing and  relaxing experience.While I am not saying that citylife is not good.It’s the opposite of course because modern society living is what city life is. Activities galore in the city but city life is more challenging and it carries a heavy price.Worst of all, the most expensive component of life in the city is the toll it takes on your body through stress. Stress is present with every waking moment in the city.  The multitudes of people, unstoppable traffic, rigid work schedules never let up. The air is filthy.  The carbon monoxide emitted by thousands of vehicles overwhelm what little green life remains to clean the air.  Brain and body are continuously bombarded by environmental pollutant that diminish the human spirit.  Opportunities to relax are few and short. Stress builds up. Quality of life declines.The city dweller looks forward to a day out of the city.   Escape becomes the order of the day. Each move to the outer boundaries of the urban environment makes life a little more peaceful.  The  move (vacation leave or permanent) to the country is the greatest move of all.Peaceful is the most succinct description of the country. The night is refreshingly quiet. Soft insect noises and the plaintive call of an owl or frog rule the stillness.Leaves are strewn all over the places. No heavy traffic, no sirens, no rush of the “madding crowd.” Life is simple and calming. The country offers advantages to the harried city dweller that can reduce stress, induce health, and reharges your body.

biking lanes2.jpg

Inside the Al Nahda Resort and Spa.The driveway network  for golf cart users, promenaders, joggers and bikers.Beautiful trees  abound—–Very homey atmosphere.Birds are chirping nearby and the smell is naturely fresh. Continue reading A place to relax.It’s more than what we wished for.

A woodhouse built or moved here and there…

Where the roads are, so there be place for some to  build a house whether it be on flat ground or rolling terrain.How stable is the foundation of this house remains to be seen but they seem to like living this way.

Where the roads are, so there be place for some to  build a house whether it be on flat ground or on  a cliff.How stable is the foundation of this house remains to be seen but they seem to like living this way. Location is somewhere between Bangaan and Banaue,Ifugao where the famed Banaue Rice Terraces is located.treehouse.phil Continue reading A woodhouse built or moved here and there…